Jan Kučera

This conductor, composer and pianist (1977) graduated from the Prague Conservatory, where he studied composition and conducting, and from the Academy of Music in Prague (conducting under Vladimír Válek). Within his graduation concert in 2002 he debuted as a conductor with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (PRSO) and premiered his own three symphonic poems to the motifs of Czech writers (Kundera, Hrabal, Kolář). As a composer, his work encompasses several genres. He has created symphonic and chamber compositions, cantatas and songs, and also written scenic music for productions by Prague and regional theatres. Extensive are his activities in the arrangement area, he has adapted songs by Jaroslav Ježek and songs from Czech movies. As a conductor, he regularly collaborates with leading Czech orchestras, with whom he has recorded or publicly presented except classical repertoire over 100 orchestral scores of contemporary music, often in premieres. In 2002–2010, Jan Kučera collaborated with the PRSO, initially as the assistant of Vladimír Válek, the then chief conductor of the PRSO, and in 2008–2010 as the permanent conductor. In June 2007, with the PRSO and in conjunction with Canadian ballet group Compagnie Marie Chouinard he performed a Rite of Spring by Stravinsky in Prague. At the same time he won an Honourable mention in the Prague Spring International Music Competition. In October 2007, he successfully conducted the PRSO in the Musikverein in Vienna and during the Japan tour. Together with the PRSO he recorded for label Supraphon anthems of 27 member states of EU on the occasion of Czech Presidency of European Union. During the celebrations of St. Wenceslas in 2010 he reconstructed for the Government of the Czech Republic the original score to silent film Saint Wenceslas (1929), newly recorded this music on a DVD and then live performed with the projection together with the PRSO in Prague’s Rudolfinum. In 2012, he presented his own music and music by other contemporary Czech composers at the American University, College of Arts & Sciences in Washington. In June 2013, he closed the season of the Prague Symphony Orchestra with Beethoven´s Symphony No. 9.

Update: June 2014